A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to either charge Ifeanyi Ubah, the Managing Director of Capital Oil & Gas Ltd, to court, or release him unconditionally within 48 hours.
During court ruling on the application for Ubah’s release, Justice Mohammed Idris, held that his continued detention without charge violated his rights.
The judge further stated that the Agency lied on oath to justify the applicant’s illegal detention, even as he dismissed the DSS and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC’s) preliminary objections against Ubah’s application.
The secret police agency had arrested Ubah over alleged economic sabotage and illegal sale of petroleum products stored in his tank farm by the NNPC.
But Ubah filed the application, praying the court to order his release.
In his ruling, Justice Idris held that Section 41 of the Constitution and Article 12 of the African Charter guarantee the right to free movement by every Nigerian.
His words: “Democracy must have practical means of securing accountability for human rights violations. We must as a nation ensure that human rights are protected and enforced in real time.
“In the entire circumstances of this case, I hold that the applicants have established the case against the fourth and fifth respondents, being the DG of SSS and DSS for the violation of their rights as guaranteed under the constitution.”
In the meantime, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has sought the immediate release of Ubah who has been detained by the DSS since May 5, 2017.
The governor described his continued detention as an act of recklessness.